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December 11, 2023

Amazing EAs: Jamie Bruer

In the realm of inclusive education, where diverse learning needs are addressed with empathy and dedication, there exists a remarkable Educational Assistant (EA) whose commitment goes beyond conventional boundaries. Meet Jamie Bruer, an extraordinary individual whose journey as an EA at Mitchell Elementary has transcended the ordinary. Bruer’s narrative is uniquely woven around the special bond she has cultivated with students, illuminating the transformative power of genuine connection and the profound impact it can have on the educational experience. Bruer’s story unfolds as a testament to the unwavering spirit of those who tirelessly champion the cause of inclusivity in education.

“Educational Associates work with students who have extra needs in the area of academics and/or behavior,” said Justin Jeffs, Principal at Mitchell. “They work closely with classroom/support teachers to ensure they are all on the same page in the services that they provide. They are constantly collaborating with other staff on ideas that ensure kids are getting the best experiences at school.”

“(I) work primarily with students who need extra support,” Bruer said. “I just want students to succeed and have the same opportunities that other students receive. I want them to feel safe and supported at school.”

One of the students Bruer connects with is fourth grader David Pippin. Bruer has worked with him since August 2022. In that time, she built a rapport not just with David but with his family as well.

“She has been wonderful for David. She doesn’t put up with a lot of misbehavior from him and she has tricks up her sleeve to help redirect him as well as prevent problem behaviors. Some days I think she has him behaving better at school than we do at home,” says Lisa Pippin, David’s mother. “She has helped teach him how to transition from room to room independently. She knows all of his favorite things at school and knows what motivates him as well as I do. Over summer school, Jamie was called in to teach his summer school EA some of the tricks that worked for her.”

“Jamie has developed a strong relationship with David over the past few years. He knows that she cares about him and is willing to help him with anything he needs,” added Jeffs. “Because she has developed this strong relationship with David, he typically is always on his best behavior around her. He doesn’t want to let her down, because he knows she cares so much for him.” 

According to Jeffs, to get children to give their best, you must establish a trusting and caring relationship with the student first and foremost. Bruer’s connection with David is visible when you set foot inside Mitchell. You will often see her accompanying him from class to class, sitting on the floor during music class, or helping him find his beloved yellow school bus he carries with him some days. All of these things play a part in building trust and camaraderie. 

“Mitchell has been like an extended family and home to me,” she shares. “There are a lot of caring staff and teachers that work at Kate Mitchell. I look forward to seeing smiles on everyone’s face every morning.”

Bruer is visible outside the walls of Mitchell Elementary, too. In her fifth year with the district, Bruer cheers on David at the diamond at Inis Grove Park. Additionally, she has built quite a rapport with the Pippin family.

“She supports him outside of school as well by attending Miracle League baseball on Saturday mornings in spring and late summer,” Lisa says. “Overall, Jamie has been a big part of David thriving at Mitchell.”

“Jamie simply has a heart for everyone,” said Justin Jeffs, Principal at Mitchell. “She is a natural caretaker and is willing to help anyone in need.”

Together, they navigate the challenges of both the classroom and life, illustrating the profound impact that compassion and understanding can have on a student’s journey. Through their unique partnership, barriers dissolve, and the true essence of education reveals itself—rooted in empathy, patience, and unwavering support. Their bond reminds us all that every student deserves not only assistance but also the opportunity to flourish, guided by the belief that each individual has a unique brilliance waiting to shine.

Jamie Bruer is just one example of many incredible stories in our District. Know an EA or a teacher who should be featured in a future story? We want to hear from you! Contact Amy DeLashmutt, Director of Communications, at